St John Vic Volunteers Serve Over 7 Million Victorians
In 2022, our dedicated volunteers supported the Victorian community with commitment and passion. Nearly 900 volunteers across Victoria served over 7 million people, providing first aid support at events and festivals across the state over 2,700 event days, setting an impressive achievement.
Supported by experienced volunteers, St John attended close to 1,000 major venues and iconic events, including the Australian Open, Australian Grand Prix, MOTO GP, Melbourne Marathon, and the Melbourne Royal Show. Over 1,438 event days were at smaller local events throughout regional and rural Victoria, reflecting our thriving presence in the community.
A FLOURISHING TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS
Early in the year, a new volunteer structure was implemented to oversee six regions, consisting of 47 local divisions and three specialty divisions, creating two Area Manager roles.
Our resolute volunteers continue to maintain their scopes of practice, enabling us to deliver services as an Advanced Licensed provider of First Aid, the highest scope available under the Non-Emergency Patient Transport and First Aid Services (First Aid Services) Regulations 2021.
We were pleased to receive strong interest from the community in becoming a volunteer, with 1,175 new recruits expressing interest. Of these, 623 achieved First Responder status or have started their six-month-long training journey. To support new recruits, a new e-Passport was introduced to track their training pathway.
As the number of volunteers continues to grow, we are committed to the wellbeing of every member. In doing so, we established “The Hub” at our new headquarters, a designated space for volunteers and staff to gather, collaborate, and connect. Furthermore, since the move to our new headquarters, our state-of-the-art communications and Emergency Command Centre has seen strong use to support the floods and major events.
EVENT HEALTH SERVICES
St John continues to be a leader in the Event Health Services industry, customising the level of medical service provided to suit the risk profiles of events. In a new initiative deployed for the first time at music festivals in late 2022, we provided Patron Welfare services, offering welfare for drug-affected festival attendees.
As we anticipate an increasing number of events post-pandemic, we are dedicated to implementing constant improvements across training, the scope of our responders, clinical governance, and equipment – ensuring the highest standard of Emergency Health Services.
ST JOHN YOUTH
Our goal has been one of sustainability and renewal, with divisions being able to deliver their programs without interruption or fear of cancellation. The past year has certainly had its challenges, albeit these have been different to those in 2021. Over the past 12 months, our members and society had become used to programs and events being postponed, modified, or cancelled. With the trepidation of restrictions being re-introduced or capacity limits being imposed, the Youth Team was able to deliver its full program in 2022 in a face-to-face mode. We undertook an ambitious agenda and mandate to create environments where people came together face-to-face, and divisions returned to a sense of normality.
At a state program level, the team offered key components of St John Youth including leadership courses; Easter Camp; management training; accredited training courses to upskill our Youth Members and our regular planning; and team meetings.
A highlight was, after 3 years, finally being able to deliver a new competition model renamed the State Youth Challenge. This comprised a series of challenges and competitive pieces with Youth Members being assessed on their First Aid, leadership, resilience, and teamwork over a two-day residential camp.
In addition, over the second half of the year we saw Youth Members being issued their new uniform, with all members now wearing the iconic St John green uniform. This has been a significant achievement and one which has seen excitement amongst our youth membership as they get to wear the same uniform as their adult counterparts.
We are pleased to note that our membership levels have remained consistent and strong with 535 members in 2022. Included in these number are the 60 Youth Members who conclude their time in the program as they turn 18 and finish school. We are proud that over 60% of these members have indicated they will continue with St John and become adult members within our organisation.
Finally, we would like to thank all our youth leaders and officers who, every week, contribute countless hours of effort in building the resilience and capacity of young people within our Victorian community. Not only do we build skills and impart an ethos of service, but in each young person who participated in our organisation, we assist our community to become stronger, more resilient and to build capacity whilst also increasing the community’s awareness and knowledge of First Aid.